The quintessential One Night Stand….probably easiest to define. A single episode of sex (as in one night, one afternoon, one evening) and most likely includes the following: sexual intercourse, alcohol and/or drugs, meeting at a bar or party, and with someone who is a stranger or a brief acquaintance at best. Now of course, everyone knows someone, a ‘friend’ if you will, who had a One Night Stand and they weren’t drunk or they knew the person or they met at someone’s house or they had sex in the morning, twice even, before leaving. Sure, that’s great. I still call that cat a One Night Stand.
As one of my female participants commented: “To me, by definition, it almost ends before it starts.” Agreed. Unless you have sex with that person again on a different occasion. Then maybe this person is your new Booty Call.
Open up the discussion on Booty Calls and things get really interesting. Booty Calls have remained essentially invisible on the sex research horizon up until recently. Defined in the academic literature as: “communication initiated toward a non-long-term relationship partner with the urgent intent either stated or implied, of having sexual activity and/or intercourse.”
Having Booty Calls is a slippery slope: Of participants who reported having ever had one in this study, the average number of Booty Call relationships within the past year was seven. Yes, 7. FYI…men and women had equal numbers of Booty Calls.
Okay, that’s nice, but what does a Booty Call look like in reality? Well, let me walk you through it…
According to my participants, this is someone that you call (read: text) to arrange a sexual liaison (of course my participants didn’t use the word liaison, don’t be crazy) within the next 24 hours. It’s often late at night, no one is sleeping over or moving in the next day. Get in, get off, get out, folks.
Now one of the premises of the Booty Call is that it is not too regular. Do it too many times (don’t be confused, puns are always intended from sex researchers) and now you’re in F*ck Buddy territory.
A F*ck Buddy is someone who you didn’t necessarily know before, but you started having sex (and by sex I mean intercourse) with this person and lo and behold, you’ve become quasi-friends with this person. But you wouldn’t have necessarily become friends with the person if you didn’t have sex with them first.
So for F*ck Buddies…the cart goes in front of those horses. F*ck Buddies are not secretive and end when the two drift apart. “Just goes poof over time” as one of my male participants so eloquently stated.
Now never mind the age old “When Harry Met Sally” can men and women ever really be friends debate. These two are friends first, sex comes after (i.e., this cart comes after that horse). In one study, 60% of students report having been involved in at least one Friends with Benefits relationship in their lifetime.
What makes the Friends with Benefits relationship the most unique is the fact that these two are the most likely to discuss the rules of the relationship. Are we allowed to sleep with other people? Who is allowed to know that we are having sex with each other? Are you going to tell me this is over when you start dating someone else?
So do Friends with Benefits ever really work? Well, my participants said that it can. But the success of a Friend with Benefit relationship rests delicately on a number of factors: no one better coming along, no one getting too attached, no one losing interest, to name a few. Upset any one of these and there is gonna be big trouble in little China.
Now what is the difference between F*ck Buddies and Friends with Benefits? Respect. By far the most important difference between these two relationships was that you have respect for your Friend with Benefit. The same can’t be said for your little F*ck Buddy.
More enlightening excerpts from my participants to come. Stay tuned.